A group of legislators have called for the immediate disbandment of Operation Wealth Creation arguing that the Standing Orders of Procedure for OWC creates conflicts of with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The calls to disband UPDF’s involvement in agriculture are contained in the Minority Report by the Parliament Budget Committee that was signed by Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County), Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo Woman) and Robert Centenary (Kasese Municipality) after they disagreed with opinions of the Majority Report.
The trio has instead made proposals for Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) to build on the ongoing work under the Agricultural Cluster Development Project to curtail the mismatch of mandates of the institutions involved.
The Legislators are also discontented with the performance of OWC, which they argue, is dismal despite the fact that the body has continued to draw billions from the Consolidated Fund account.
The UPDF that is overseeing the activities of OWC has also been put under the spotlight, with MPs questioning why the Army is engaged in facilitating production, particularly the distribution of inputs contrary to engaging in production activities as required under Section 7(d) of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Act 2005.
UPDF has also been blamed for placing emphasis on quantity of distribution rather than focusing on output from the agricultural inputs given to farmers, an action the MPs argue has made the UPDF incapable of providing extension services to beneficiaries because the Army lacks the requisite skills.
“Many formers hove since complained of poor selection of beneficiaries as well as low productivity of crops attributed to poor quality inputs and inadequate extension services,” the report read in part.
The report also noted that although many people meet the OWC beneficiary selection criteria, only a few people benefit, which has raised concerns with equity and fairness risks in terms of national development.
Now, the MPs want the UPDF to engage in production activities like raising production in livestock and crops for the development of Uganda as required under Section 7(d) of the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces Act 2005.
As such, the Legislators also want to see the distribution of farming inputs and provision of extension services solely left to the Ministry of Agriculture and to also leave other MDAs to fulfill their mandates.
Meanwhile, the MPs also took exception with NAADS, saying that it is engaged in planning and budgeting for distribution of farming inputs contrary to promotion of modern farming inputs as required under Section 5(b) of the NAADS Act 2001.